The term “microdosing” is having a moment in the medicinal cannabis world. While microdosing isn’t exactly a new concept—it’s been explored with hallucinogens for years—it is newer to cannabis. Essentially, it means you’re consuming just enough cannabis to reap the benefits of the plant’s medicinal properties without consuming so much that you feel high or buzzed.
At first glance, the idea that dosing less THC could potentially have a more positive effect on a patient than more THC seems counterintuitive to the entire medicinal cannabis movement, especially since THC is one of cannabis’s main medicinal elements. But, think about it—while THC has a plethora of benefits, overdoing it can come with some not-so-beneficial side effects like paranoia, anxiety, and feeling unmotivated.
In fact, research has shown that lower levels of THC can effectively treat ailments that higher levels of THC can exacerbate. A 2012 study focusing on cancer patients with chronic pain found that those with the lowest doses of THC showed the greatest reduction in pain while those with the highest dosage actually experienced more pain. Depending on your situation, microdosing may be exactly what you need to feel relief.
What Is Microdosing?
Microdosing is exactly what it sounds like—it’s consuming, or dosing, your medicine in small amounts. When looking at cannabis, microdosing specifically looks at the amount of cannabinoids you’re consuming, particularly THC.
Reactions to THC vary depending on the individual user. The condition being treated, the user’s tolerance and physiology, the strain of cannabis consumed, and the consumption method used all influence the effects of THC. Because of this, microdosing is not a one-size-fits-all option for everyone, and it’s important to talk with your doctor before giving it a try.
What Are the Benefits of Microdosing Cannabis?
The biggest benefit of microdosing is that even though you’re lowering your THC intake, you’re still effectively caring for your condition. Cannabinoids don’t have to be consumed in mass quantities to engage your endocannabinoid system or be beneficial to your body. Microdosing allows you to maintain your treatment plan while also maintaining your life because you’re no longer dealing with the negative side effects of too much THC.
Being able to enjoy high-potency cannabis without any psychoactive effects getting in the way is huge, but another major benefit of microdosing is its cost-effectiveness. Since you’re literally using less of your medicine, it will last longer, meaning you won’t need to refill as often.
Can I Microdose Cannabis for My Condition?
Microdosing is still a relatively new concept for cannabis, so not all its applications have been researched yet, but it has shown promising results for treating:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Crohn’s Disease
Microdosing is also known for increasing creativity, promoting sleep, and improving focus and mood. Like we said—it’s all about reaping the benefits of cannabis without experiencing the high. Whatever perks you’re gaining from cannabis now, you’ll likely continue to do so, just without the THC-induced buzz.
How to Effectively Microdose Your Medicinal Cannabis
Again, microdosing isn’t a blanket treatment plan for all, and it’s important to talk with your doctor before trying it. Apart from the strain of cannabis and consumption method used, your liver metabolism, cannabinoid receptor genetics, and previous usage can also all have effects on how you react to cannabis and its cannabinoids. That means the amount of THC it takes for you to feel high will be different than the amount someone else needs. So, figuring out the right microdose for you will be a bit of a trial-and-error process.
For the heavy cannabis user, it’s recommended to first completely stop all usage for 48 hours. This is about how much time your endocannabinoid system needs to reset itself, so you can start from a baseline. Heavy cannabis users can have a pretty strong tolerance built up and usually require a lot more THC than most, so it’s helpful to get your endocannabinoid system as close to its original baseline as possible before starting to microdose.
Once you’re at a baseline, Leafly recommends starting off with 1 to 2.5 milligrams of THC daily, keeping that same dosage for at least three days. After three days, notice how you feel. If you’re not noticing any or enough positive effects, up your dosage by 1 milligram and stick with that dosage for another three days. Continue to increase your dosage by 1 milligram every three days until you feel your medicine working. Once you feel like you’re seeing the full benefits of your medicine come through, you’ve found your ideal dosing level.
Remember, this is trial and error. You’ll likely go over your ideal dosage before finding it. If you start to feel too high or paranoid or anxious, or if the negative side effects are starting to outweigh the benefits, that means you’ve passed your optimal dosage and dosed too much THC. Simply drop a milligram or so and see how you feel after three days at that lower dosage.
Microdosing is meant to encourage a daily habit. It encourages you to look at your cannabis consumption as proactive instead of reactive. You’re using cannabis to treat a specific issue or issues, but you’re also using it as a daily “vitamin” of sorts. You’re ensuring your endocannabinoid system is fueled every day, which is important since your endocannabinoid system plays a huge role in your body’s homeostasis.
The Consumption Method
You can try microdosing with vaping or smoking by waiting five minutes after your first puff to see how you feel. After your wait, determine whether or not you need another puff to reap the benefits while avoiding the high. While this method can work, it’s difficult to determine exactly how much THC you’re inhaling, so it’s not the most ideal option. For newer users, one puff may be all you need to get high, so you might want to start with something easier to dose.
Rather, try reaching for tinctures, syringes, or concentrates. These types of products are usually clearly labeled with dosage levels and are easy to use. Our syringes, like this Sativa, are a great option because they’re labeled for easy dosing and can be vaporized, swallowed, taken sublingually, or infused in food. Plus, the syringe keeps things clean and won’t lose or waste any precious oil.
Microdosing THC vs CBD
Microdosing cannabis usually refers to THC, but CBD can add to the therapeutic effects. In fact, it can be quite beneficial for those new to cannabis because it can further counteract the negative side effects of THC.
If you’re new to cannabis and curious about microdosing, try using a 1:1 CBD to THC ratio, like this tincture. Between the low dosage and the calming effects of CBD, you’ll experience the reliable advantages of cannabis and THC without any of the potential high, paranoia, or anxiety.
Start Your Microdosing Journey
Stop by any one of VidaCann’s locations throughout Florida to start your microdosing journey today. Between our expertly trained staff and our naturally grown cannabis, we can help get you where you need to go. It won’t take much to get started!